If you’re as big of a fan of The Great British Bakeoff as I am, then you likely saw Lottie’s “quarantine florentines”. You also might have thought to yourself…what the heck is a florentine?! A florentine is a delicate, thin cookie made from essentially caramel tossed with other ingredients, then baked until they turn a beautiful amber color.
These origin story of these cookies is quite varied with many believing they come from the obvious choice Florence, Italy while others claim they originated in France in the 16th Century. After some extensive reading, I’ve decided to side with the French camp. If anything, because most of the ingredients in this cookie are decidedly French and not what you would find in Italy during this time frame.
Either way, you’re getting a pretty delicious cookie that may seem daunting at first but is pretty easy to master. My hottest tip? Use SMALL scoops when you put them on a tray…like when I say a spoonful in the instructions, I mean it. Also, and this would probably be frowned upon by Prue and Paul, but when them come out of the oven use a spatula to kind of push the cookie into a circle as sometimes they spread out just a little too much.
So enjoy these Florentines and, remember, you can get creative on what you add in so feel free to experiment!
Chocolate Cherry Florentine
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup cream
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 100 grams flaked almonds about 1 cup
- 100 grams unsweetened coconut flakes about 1.5 cups
- 150 grams glacé cherries, quartered about 1 cup
- 2 tbsp flour
- 200 grams dark chocolate about 2 chocolate bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two large baking sheets with parchment or Silpat mats.
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, butter and maple syrup and bring to the boil, cooking until golden brown.
- Add the almonds, cherries and flour and mix together quickly to coat in the buttery/sugar mixture.
- Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking trays, making sure you leave sufficient space in between each Florentine as they will spread quite a bit. If you have a biscuit cutter you can place the spoonful in the middle of a cutter placed on the tray, then use the back of the spoon to press it even in the shape of the cutter. Its important for the Florentines to be flat and even.
- Place the trays in the oven and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes until the cookies are a deep amber color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Melt the chocolate and spread onto the back of each Florentine. Allow to set then store in the fridge until ready to eat.